A high school in the US is getting criticized because they suspended a student for recording her teacher using a racist word during class. The student’s name is Mary Walton, and she’s 15 years old. She filmed her teacher saying the n-word multiple times on May 9th at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri. Mary’s family has hired a lawyer and asked the school to say sorry.
The school officials think they punished the student appropriately. The teacher who used the slur has quit. Mary and her mom, Kate Welborn, want the school to remove the suspension from her school record and they also want an apology.
The lawyer believes that the suspension sends the wrong message to students. She said, “If you record a teacher doing something wrong, you could get in trouble too.” The attorney mentioned that when the incident happened, the students were talking about the racial slur. The teacher interrupted and used the word several times. Mary’s video caught him saying the slur while students asked him to stop.
The teacher can be heard saying, “I’m not calling anyone a [slur]. I can say the word.” Mary shared the video with her mom and a friend, and it spread on social media without her knowing. The school suspended Mary on May 12th for three days, which is the longest suspension allowed according to the school’s rules, Natalie Hull said.
The school’s principal, Josh Groves, released a statement condemning the teacher’s actions and stating that he no longer works at Glendale High. Mr. Groves believes the school responded appropriately to the incident. He said, “We can’t share all the details because of the law, but our student handbook is clear about consequences for using electronic devices inappropriately.”
Mary’s mom wants the school to change its policy and teach the staff and students how to handle similar situations with teachers. She said, “Either the policy was used incorrectly, or it showed that there’s a problem with the policy and no protection for whistleblowers.”
The head of the Radio Television News Association defended Mary’s actions in a letter to the school. He expressed “serious concerns” about her suspension and said she should be praised, not punished. Even though Mary isn’t a journalist, she captured an important event, just like reporters do.
According to Mary’s mom, she’s having a tough time after the incident. “She just wants things to go back to normal so she can finish the school year,” Ms. Welborn said.
James is a writer who specializes in writing about home and self-education for our education blog. He believes in the power of lifelong learning and hopes to inspire his readers to take control of their education. James is passionate about self-education as a means of personal growth and fulfillment, and aims to empower others to pursue their own paths of learning.